Volunteer Bristol and Voscur move closer to merger
In summer 2011 Volunteer Bristol approached Voscur about the potential for working more closely together.  In tough economic times we were looking for smarter and more cost effective ways of delivering our services.  Building on successful collaborations between our organisations in recent years, we wanted to explore whether we could achieve more together.  Bringing staff, trustees and volunteers together over a period of 18 months, we have looked at various models of collaboration.   We have decided that merger will offer the best service for our members and the wider community in the long term. For more information please see the News page of our website

Give your organisation a Boost! with a professional volunteer

  • Is your website looking tired or outdated and in need of an overhaul?
  • Do you need some glossy professional photographs taken to help give your promotional material that quality edge?
  • Would your organisation benefit from branding, PR or Marketing support ?
  • Are you experiencing HR difficulties?
  • If YES, then the Boost! programme could be just what you need.

The Boost! programme managed by Volunteer Bristol in partnership with the Support Hub at Voscur aims to match highly skilled individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds with an organisation in need of specialist support. We currently have a number of volunteers with expertise in areas such as marketing and communications, accountancy, IT consultancy and database design and project management for opportunities to support voluntary organisations on a specific short term project or task.
If you think you could benefit from having a Boost! volunteer, call Mel on 0117 989 7734 or e-mail; for further information

Farewell to Steve
Next month we will be saying farewell to Steve Dale, who has been Chief Executive of Volunteer Bristol for the past 3 years and has enabled us to develop and expand our services despite a tough economic situation.  Steve says: “I’ve enjoyed my time at Volunteer Bristol enormously and I’m proud of what we’ve managed to achieve.  We couldn’t have done it without the support of the City Council – so I’d like to thank the officers and councillors.  But I’ll reserve biggest thanks for our volunteers, staff, our trustees and all our members who have stuck with us through the recent changes.  I think we can now look forward to a more sustainable future and some new and innovative services.”  Steve is moving on to become Head of Volunteering Services for Dorothy House Hospice Care, which provides care and support for people with life-threatening illness in Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Somerset.  He will be leaving on 5th March.

Welcome to Naomi
This month Volunteer Bristol is welcoming to the team Naomi Salisbury who will be working on the Volunteer Support Programme doing a lot of the hands-on work with client referrals and managing our Volunteer Mentors. Naomi joins us from CAPS Independent Advocacy a mental health advocacy organisation in Edinburgh and brings with her a wealth of knowledge about working with people with mental health issues.    If you would like any information about the additional support we can offer people as part of the programme, please have a look at our Volunteer Support Programme pages on our website.

Annual General Meeting – Thank you!
Thank you to all of you who came along to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Volunteer Organiser’s Forum (VOF) in January. It was great to have your support and to see so many of you there. You can view our Annual Report for 2011-12 on our website and have a glance through our VOF minutes. We would also like to extend a big thank you to the ss Great Britain for providing a venue and offering excellent support on the day.


New Criminal Record Checking Legislation
Many of you will have heard of the changes that have happened with CRBs over the past couple of months, particularly the name change to Disclosure and Barring Service, as the CRB has joined forces with ISA. Some of the main changes are around eligibility to check if your volunteers appear on the barred lists for children and vulnerable adults and and the minimum age limit of 16 for applying for DBS checks.  Volunteering England has compiled some very good information on the CRB changes for you to have a glance through.

Survey Shows Volunteering Figures Up
The recent Community Life Survey shows that volunteering figures have increased from 65% to 71% over the past year, the highest figure for 6 years. You can view some of the key headline figures here. You may also be interested to read Rob Jackson’s blog analysing the results of the survey in the context of the Olympics.

Volunteer Forced to Work at Poundland for Free Wins in Appeal Court
Some of you may remember the story over a year ago of the museum volunteer who was forced to stop volunteering and work at Poundland for free, or lose her Job Seeker’s Allowance. Cait Reilly claimed it was a breach of her human rights and initially had her case rejected last summer and has now won the appeal in this landmark case. For more information on the implications of the case see the Third Sector article

Number of Library Volunteers Risen by More than Half
The number of volunteers working in UK libraries has risen by more than half in the past four years, according to new figures. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s UK Annual Libraries Survey, shows there were 23,397 people who volunteered in UK libraries in 2011/12 compared with 15,008 in 2007/8 – a rise of 56 per cent. At the same time, the number of library employees has fallen by 15.4 per cent.  For full details see the Third Sector article.


Next Volunteer Organiser’s Forum meeting at Network Counselling & Training
The next Volunteer Organiser’s Forum (VOF) meeting will be hosted by Network Counselling & Training in Henbury on Thursday 21st March from 10.00-12.30. The organisation will be sharing information about their work and the way in which they involve volunteers. We will also be looking at the importance of listening skills in volunteer management to improve volunteer support and supervision. Please let me know if you would like to come along by emailing or ringing 0117 989 7734.


Free Safeguarding/Child Protection Training
The Care Forum in partnership with PEYTU and BAND are delivering 2 free Safeguarding/Child Protection training courses on 21st and 28th February and 13th March  for those working in registered and unregistered groups providing social care and health support for children and young people. Find more information about the Safeguarding training by contacting PEYTU on or 0117 908 0601 and you can download the booking form if you’re interested

Updating your Equality and Diversity Policy
You’ve heard of the Equality Act 2010. But when did you last give your equality and diversity policy a good update? And more importantly, what should you be thinking about when you do it? ‘Updating Your Equality and Diversity Policy’ (Thursday 21st February, 9.30am-3.30pm at Phoenix Social Enterprises) will take you through the answers to those and other questions, as well as giving you plenty of time to ask your own. This training session is particularly suitable for people with some previous experience of equalities and diversity). Please bring along a copy of your policy to look at during the day. Prices for this training start from just £55 for full Voscur members, and free places are available for small or new groups.


Six Ideas from Online Dating to Help with Volunteer Recruitment
If you’re feeling the love this Valentine’s Day then you might want to read this article about the principles that we can learn from online dating with regard to volunteer recruitment. It particularly highlights the importance of having a strong online profile to attract volunteers and creative that long-lasting relationship with them!

Clinks Volunteering Guides
Clinks have put together some Volunteering Guides which may be good resources to organisations working in the criminal justic sector or further afield. They cover areas such as Volunteer Peer Support, Volunteer Management and Service User Involvement.

Awards on the hunt for the heroes of green places
A search has begun for the unsung heroes of the environmental movement in the 2013 Octavia Hill Awards. Organised by the National Trust and Countryfile magazine the awards were set up in 2012 to celebrate the life and legacy of social reformer, environmental champion and one of the National Trust founders, Octavia Hill.   Nominations for the four categories – natural hero, green space guardian, people’s champion and Love Places – will be judged by a panel of experts before being put to a public online poll. Closing date fornominations is Thursday 28 February 2013.  More information about how you can nominate people or organisations can be found on the NT website and the hashtag #octaviahill will be used on twitter during the Awards.

Volunteering in the New Year: 7 Tips for Making it Stick
Many of you will have experience a surge in volunteer interest in the new year, which Volunteer Bristol will continue to see throughout the next couple of months. This interesting blog gives some tips about how you can ensure that volunteers stick around and maintain their initial enthusiasm

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